Streamlining the Leasing Process March 9, 2017 by Brent Carroll Start to Finish, simple to complex, tenant needs must be met every step of the way. Building and managing a business in today’s busy world is a full-time job, though changing office space should not be. Tenants want to make well-informed leasing decisions quickly, go through as seamless of a process as possible and get straight back to running their business. As one of the nation’s largest property owners, KBS Realty Advisors understands the critical importance of meeting tenant needs and making them feel comfortable through every stage of the leasing process. SELECTING THE SPACE Finding the right office space in the right location with the right amenities begins with having good options, and an owner who listens. When meeting with a new tenant prospect, KBS begins with an assessment of the tenant’s current needs and their long-term growth goals. Options are presented that meet the tenant’s needs and budget, followed by a personal tour of each space. The ability for tenants to see the features of various office space options in an informative, solution-oriented manner, sets the stage for sound decision making. Honing in on the right choice for a tenant is both art and science. Selecting the right space is only one challenge of overseeing a growing business. Tenants benefit from a landlord who can simplify the process and has the financial backing to stand behind their commitments, ultimately making their space decisions easier and less risky. When we think about a potential tenant, we are always looking at ways to make KBS the path of least resistance. Everything from showing the space, space planning or documenting the lease. The talented team of experts we have in our organization, expedites this process. As an example, instead of a week or more to prepare a lease for a new tenant, we can turn a lease within 24 hours. Generally speaking, that’s unheard of. SPACE PLANNING KBS initiates the space planning process during the same time and along a parallel path as the contract negotiation. Getting started on space planning early can greatly assist the tenant in making the right decision — even if it means deciding not to lease the space at all. KBS offers space planning to all of its tenant prospects, with the goal to “right size” their space. KBS typically hires an architect and incurs the cost of a “test fit” space plan that the tenant can use or give to their own architect for further modifications. KBS strives to be flexible, and never requires a prospective tenant to use a certain architect. One of our standards as a landlord is never to make a prospective tenant feel compelled to take more space than they need — but also not to recommend space that does not accommodate future growth. There is a fine line between too much space and not enough space, and striking the right balance can be the key to a long-term relationship with the tenant. CONTRACT NEGOTIATION These two words can make tenants shudder. Often the most dreaded part of the leasing process, KBS makes negotiating a contract as smooth as possible. KBS believes the lease negotiation lays the groundwork for the relationship the tenant and owner will share for the term of the lease, and hopefully many years to come. Experience and a long-term perspective are keys to a successful lease negotiation, but flexibility is essential. For example, if tenants want lease agreements on their forms, KBS will probably do it. TENANT CONSTRUCTION After the upgrades to the space and additional needs of the tenant have been identified, KBS manages construction on the new space while keeping the tenant informed at every step. KBS takes pride in the quality of its buildings and works to make sure that each space is completed to the high standards tenants have come to expect. Industry-standard construction materials, quality workmanship and a thorough punch-list procedure all contribute to successful delivery of the tenant’s space, within budget and on time. The interior finish of the space is something a company will live with throughout its lease. KBS wants that experience to be positive. TECHNOLOGY Moving into new space often gives companies the opportunity to upgrade their information technology systems. KBS works with tenants on a broad range of technology needs, including intra-office communications, external communications, presentation-ready conference rooms and industry-specific IT demands. KBS ensures tenants have access to everything they need to stay at the forefront of technology in a competitive business world. MOVING IN The last thing tenants should worry about on moving day is the readiness of their space. KBS utilizes experienced building engineers and property managers to orchestrate the delivery of turnkey space, on time. When the movers arrive, KBS is ready, knowing full well that delays cost tenants in time, money and aggravation. KBS understands that business doesn’t stop just because the physical location of a company is in transit. EXPANSION NEEDS Outgrowing one’s office space can be a good problem. KBS understands that as companies succeed and grow, their office space needs change. This is where a flexible landlord with a long-term view on the tenant relationship is most welcome. KBS is an advocate, not a roadblock, in lease renegotiations, and takes the same win-win approach to expansions that it does to new leases. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT The quality of property management impacts a tenant’s experience long after the novelty of new space wanes. KBS works with the best property management service providers in each market. Providing a professional work environment is integral to successful business operations and any notion of a long-term relationship between tenant and owner. Whenever tenants need property management assistance regarding their office space, KBS and the property manager are there to help. Operations of the building should never be obtrusive to the business of the tenant. Maintenance needs within the suite are addressed quickly and efficiently so tenants can continue working with minimal loss of time. The quality of property management impacts a tenant’s experience long after the novelty of new space wanes. CONTINUING RELATIONSHIP KBS makes the lease-renewal process easy and efficient, believing that business should never be interrupted while lease terms are revisited. If a tenant wants to move into new space, KBS will review the needs of the tenant and repeat the search for a new space with the same attention to detail as when the first search began. Should a tenant decide to remain in their space, the renewal process can be as simple as executing an extension of the lease agreement. KBS views every lease renewal as a privilege and an opportunity to continue delivering extraordinary service to the tenant. The leasing process can be simplified with an owner that is flexible, experienced and values each tenant relationship. KBS listens, guiding prospective tenants through every step in order to deliver functional office space solutions. Brent Carroll is senior vice president for KBS Realty Advisors and its affiliate KBS Capital Advisors. He is responsible for the performance and acquisitions of KBS assets.